Dean has a plan. He will share it with you. he will try and explain it in many ways. There are a few of you that he will not reach. the remainder of my letter is directed at you.  Imagine Dean’s plan is a train, you can get on and it ride to where it is going, or you can get off of it at any time. But the train is moving, and it will ride the tracks to its destination. You can be on the train when it gets there or you can be somewhere else, it is simply a matter of where you choose to be.I followed Dean’s plan from his initial email, to his last advice before I took my exam, and I passed.

Sincerely, -A. Holguin, CISSP

“Expanding Security provided me with a collaborative learning environment that not only prepared me to pass the CISSP exam the first time but also allowed me and other students to share knowledge and practical experience that could be applied beyond the exam.”

K. Campbell, CISA, CISSP, Senior Systems Security Analyst

“I would like to thank the Expanding Security team for the awesome program they have established for individuals desiring to obtain a CISSP certification. As a full-time working mother of two toddlers, I found their system to be feasible and it helped me to retain the information I needed to pass the exam. I also received valuable career related information that went further than the exam, which was also greatly appreciated. I recommend this program to anyone who desires to obtain a CISSP certification, as following their system almost guarantees you success.”

Thanks again, B. Booker, CISSP

“I just wanted to let you know that I received notification yesterday that I am now officially CISSP certified!

Thank you for all of your help throughout your class and this process. I learned a ton in your class. While taking the test I was amazed that there were only 4-5 questions on the entire test regarding information I didn’t remember covering in your course. It not only prepared me to pass the test but also gave me a lot that I can apply to what I do every day. I’m sure you’ll see me for some CPE’s in the future.”

Thanks, J. Wilcox, CISSP

“I’ve been to a variety of training courses over the last 20 years, … Dean’s class was one of the best learning experiences that I’ve ever had. He not only knew the material to a depth that exceeded the stated course curriculum, but he understood it all. Many trainers are simple parrots that regurgitate the material that they have memorized, which is pointless and of little value. Dean shared his knowledge of security with us and he made it engaging and interesting all at the same time.”

“Dean is full of energy. And full of knowledge. You can tell that he knows his stuff cold, but he has a hot passion for security, the CISSP, and for teaching… it was clear he was a pro at this and it showed by my passing the exam on my first try! I came to the course with a strong technical background, but very light on the management topics. Others in the class (size was 7) were just the opposite. Dean tailored and molded to each of us and kept us moving in the right direction… I was very pleased with the course and would recommend it for people of any background looking to pass the CISSP exam.”

Matt Chase, CISSP


An open letter to the future students of Dean Bushmiller:


Due to Dean’s commitment to his students, I am writing you this letter. I know that there is nothing that Dean can tell you that will, in your mind, alleviate the concern you have regarding the test that looms before you. To do well on the exam you should have the requisite experience. The exam is broad.. as “they” say, “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Unfortunately what “they” don’t tell you is is how to “train” for it. (They must be critics of some sort.) If there are any runners in the class, you will nod their head as I tell you, “Train at twice the distance.” A 5k runner will train at 10k.  This helps the runner during a race because they will be used to running farther and faster than what the race actually is.

Likewise Dean will tell you many things. Knowingly or unknowingly, he is training you at twice the distance so that you run well at half.  Please, please, PLEASE, do not think that I just said learn half of what Dean teaches. What I am saying is learn all that Dean tells you and you will do well in your exam.

Time is short in your class, so I finish with this:


I passed the CISSP exam this afternoon – I took five hours and was not rushed and felt I had plenty of time to re-read/answer flagged questions before hitting the final [Submit] button.

Thank you very much for your tailored and specific helpful advice and for the CISSP training. The Plan works.

As you said many times, and in the LCA, if the option is “policy” take it and narrow down to the BWA. Your incorporation of the Case Studies, the in-class discussions, and enforcing participation by all students were the best preparation for the exam. Knowing the flash-cards/glossary is a big contributor to pre-exam comfort and provide the technical basis to make a CISSP judgment call for the right answer. The in-class discussion of quiz questions and the dissecting/reasoning to find THE CISSP answer is also key to learning the material.

Respectfully, M. McVay, CISSP


Hi Dean,
I just got the result and I passed. Without a doubt your skills and didactic made a huge difference. I wish you were my instructor last December, I certainly would have passed on my first attempt.
Y. Diogenes, CISSP
Hi Dean,
I just wanted to tell you that I most eagerly and happily received my notice today stating that I passed the CISSP exam. And wouldn’t you know, it was almost exactly as I had been envisioning it each day of boot camp- only a good deal louder than I had meant for the “Woohoo!” to be when I saw that “Congratulations!” 🙂  I’m sure everyone’s hearing will recover in time…

Thank you so much for everything! I cannot recommend your course enough to others that I know are interested in taking the training and the exam. I hope that I will be able to send others from my team to attend a course in the very near future. I may have already been a good way up or almost over the wall, but, without a doubt, you provided that essential final push.

And to pass along to future students:

I truly believe that if I had not taken your [test taking] advice as instructed, I would have been too exhausted to perform well on the exam.

Take care!

Laura Tisdale, CISSP

Endorsement J. Isherwood, CEH, CISSP, Cyber Security and Cyber Crime Analyst, Industry Experience 15yrs+

Last Edited Helaine Thornton January 8, 2018

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